Missing Hiker Is Found Dead in Yosemite, Adding to Summer of Tragic Incidents at National Parks Across the Country

"Yosemite National Park rangers found the body of James Michael Millett, Jr. on September 1, 2015," the NPS wrote in a statement

Photo: Courtesy Millett Family

The body of a hiker – who has been missing for three weeks – was found by park rangers above Yosemite Valley on Tuesday, according to the National Park Service.

“Yosemite National Park rangers found the body of James Michael Millett, Jr. on September 1, 2015,” the NPS wrote in a second statement released Thursday. “Two days after discovering a car that had been left at a popular trailhead parking lot for an extended period of time.”

Millett, 39, planned a day-hike to Upper Yosemite Fall on Aug. 11, park officials said, according to KFSN.

“The body was airlifted by helicopter from the North Dome area,” the NPS statement reads. “Millet, an experienced traveler, was currently living in the Bay Area. An investigation into his death is ongoing.”

Over the past few months, there have been several tragic incidents at national parks – two young teens were killed after a tree limb fell on their tent at a campground in Yosemite, according to the Orange County Register. In Yellowstone, a man was killed by a grizzly bear while hiking.

Health officials also closed several campgrounds in Yosemite after evidence of the plague was found, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The National Park Service has issued a few hazards for visitors to be aware of when staying in national parks:

Great Smoky Mountains

• Venomous snakes & yellowjacket wasps: There are two species of venomous snakes that live in the area. Although, there have been no fatalities from snakebites recorded and “very few” bites occur – visitors should still be cautious. Yellowjacket wasps tend to build nests along trails and streams.

• Stream and river crossings: Be on the look out for swollen streams especially after a heavy rainfall and don t attempt to cross.

• Bears: Bear attacks are “extremely rare,” but they have happened – and have caused serious injuries and in some instances, death. Treat encounters with bears with extreme caution.

Grand Canyon

• Heat Exhaustion: Rangers treat a number of individuals for heat exhaustion daily during the summer.

• Heatstroke: There are two to three heatstroke cases per year at the Grand Canyon, states the NPS.

• Hypothermia: Check for the most recent weather and trail conditions, and bring extra layers of clothes if necessary.


• Rockfalls: The NPS states that rockfalls happen every year in Yosemite.

• Hazard trees: There have been incidents where visitors were either seriously or fatally injured.

• Lightning: Lightning is common especially during summer afternoons.

Read more tips from the NPS on their website.

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